Friday, July 15, 2011

south church composting

Ever clean up after a gathering at South and put the food scraps in the garbage? If you’ve begun to compost at home, it just doesn’t feel right to put coffee grounds and salad fixings into the trash. And if you haven’t begun to compost at home, Roots & Wings at South Church hopes to be your introduction to this green habit.

We’re pleased to let you know that South Church has the buckets, bins and a team ready to start community composting!

Because we're in summer mode at South (meaning the only groups using the building at this point are yoga and AA), there won't be much to compost during August.  One family a week will check the compost bucket in the kitchen—at any point during the week—to see if AA or yoga has added compostables, and follow the steps below. As a reminder, you can compost any vegetarian food scraps. That includes cake, coffee grounds, and pizza crusts (no cheese or pepperoni!).

For a more complete list of what is compostable, click here. 

(During August Dave Person will also be working to come up with an easier way to lift the pallets for access to the composting area. Right now you have to lift the lids up against the building wall where they'll stay, then take the pallet off its slots, which is hard unless you have two people doing it.)  

Beginning Labor Day, groups are back in the space so we'll need the "three times a week" checking. Here's who is lined up to do each slot:

Tuesdays - Roberts family
Fridays - Cadenhead family
Sundays- Cole/ Olsewski family

  1. Go into the church kitchen and check the compost bucket.  
  2. If there are appropriate food scraps in it, carry them around to the back of the church and add them to the middle bin (toward the center of the bin) along with any compostables you've brought from home.  
  3. Then take leaves from the bin to the right and cover the "greens" (foodscraps) with "browns".
  4. If the material in the middle bin isn't moist (like a wrung sponge), you'd also wet it a little.
  5. Then you'd return the compost bucket to the kitchen, washing it out if necessary so it's ready for more compostables.  It's that easy!
Thank you to our volunteers for taking on this project that's important to Roots & Wings, South Church, the user groups in the building, and the earth!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

WATERING: Slow Down and Share the Load

South Church now has rain barrels—look around the corner to the left of the sanctuary door! These two barrels catch the rain that flows off a small portion of the church’s large roof. All we have to do is attach a hose and we can water anywhere on the front lawn.

Linda, Susan and Lenore tried this the other night. “This takes so long,” we whined as we watered the Roots & Wings labyrinth in this sustainable way. 

True. What a hose connected to (pressurized) city water could accomplish in 30 minutes would take an hour, maybe more.

Sivananda ashram combines permaculture and yoga," mused Susan. "Maybe that’s purposeful—you need to slow down to garden like this."

Watering was on our mind that evening because the plants in the labyrinth are not thriving. Why?

“It doesn’t get enough sun,” suggested Cris Kossow.

“Could be dead pan,” said Susan DeGeorge. “The soil might be so compacted the water can’t get down any further.”

Or, the leaves we put in the raised beds might be leaching out nitrogen so not enough nutrients get to the plants.

But we think it’s the simple fact that we’ve been too busy to water properly. We stuck our fingers into the soil about knuckle deep or so. It was dry.

"Slow down and share the load" is the new mantra.

Here is the labyrinth watering schedule for the rest of the summer. 
We recommend using a mix of rain barrels (if it has rained) and city water.

 July 13: Lenore Lelah Person
July 14:  Linda Herring
July 15:  Chris Cole Olsewski
July 16 – 22: Amy Delaroca / Dunn family
July 23 – 29:  Amanda Jacobs and family
July 30: Susan deGeorge
July 31 – August 6: Donna Thompson
August 7 – 13: Rachel Thompson
August 14 – 26: Linda Herring

We are still looking for volunteers for watering. If you want to be involved, please email

Local Foraging July 16 CANCELLED

we apologize but Local Foraging for Food & Medicine on July 16 with Dina Falconi is cancelled. The Old Croton Aqueduct is a State Park and as such we are not allowed to harvest along that land. You can catch Dina's workshop later this month at the Northeast Permaculture Convergence.